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This study examines the effectiveness of symptom validity measures to detect suspect effort in cognitive testing and invalid completion of ADHD behavior rating scales in 268 adults referred for ADHD assessment. Patients were diagnosed with ADHD based on cognitive testing, behavior rating scales, and clinical interview. Suspect effort was diagnosed by at least two of the following: failure on embedded and free-standing SVT measures, a score > 2 SD below the ADD population average on tests, failure on an ADHD behavior rating scale validity scale, or a major discrepancy between reported and observed ADHD behaviors. A total of 22% of patients engaged in symptom exaggeration. The Word Memory test immediate recall and consistency score (both 64%), TOVA omission errors (63%) and reaction time variability (54%), CAT-A infrequency scale (58%), and b Test (47%) had good sensitivity as well as at least 90% specificity. Clearly, such measures should be used to help avoid making false positive diagnoses of ADHD.
Department of Psychiatry, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Clinical neuropsychologist
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A scale comprising 18 symptom constructs chosen to represent relatively independent dimensions of manifest psychopathology. The initial intended use was to provide more efficient assessment of treatment response in clinical psychopharmacology research; however, the scale was readily adapted to other uses. (From Hersen, M. and Bellack, A.S., Dictionary of Behavioral Assessment Techniques, p. 87)
Evaluation of manifestations of disease.
The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission.
A symptom complex of unknown etiology, that is characteristic of a particular abnormality.
A transient exacerbation of symptoms of an existing disease or condition.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
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